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HOW TO: Turn Auction Items Into Beloved Home Accessories

Featonby's Auction

Featonby's Auction

This post was created by Featonby's, a specialist antiques and collectibles auctioneers based in North Tyneside, England.

turn auction items into beloved home accessories

When it comes to creating the ‘wow!’ factor that your home deserves, bringing in special antique and collectible items can take your interior above and beyond the rest - and, in many cases, save you a pretty penny, too. In today’s post, we’ll discuss the different ways you can turn your lucky antique find into a statement piece of modern home furnishing that you’ll cherish forever.

From tracking down unwanted furnishings and upcycling them into a room’s eye-catching focal point to homing an antique ornament passed down through generations, there are plenty of hidden treasures to find at auctions, and beyond, that have the power to transform your home.

Finding Your Priceless Gems: 5 Top Tips

Top Tip No.1: Have a Realistic Budget 

As with any interior design project, it’s important to have a budget in mind when planning your trip to the auction house or bidding online. If you’re on the lookout for a specific item, then make sure you do sufficient research and find out how much similar items have sold for at previous auctions.

Similar to department store shopping, auctions are categorised by the contents in their specific lots. Therefore, if you’re searching for a particular addition to your family home and, for example, are in the market for a dining room table to streamline your tight space, then track down a specialised furniture auction - or an auction house that regularly sells furniture - to narrow down your hunt and speed up the process.

Additionally, when it comes to budgeting, remember to put a little aside. While you’ll be amazed at what you can get for your money at an auction house, dedicating at least some of your spends to the restoration and upcycling of your winning item will allow you to make it into your own - and, in turn, transform your home.

turn auction items into beloved home accessories

Another thing to bear in mind before setting off on your auction journey is how well the items you’ve fallen for would fit in with your current decor and room dimensions. Take photos of the rooms or areas you’re looking to fill and keep them at hand when bidding for the eccentric chandelier that deserves an entire ceiling or a Scandi-style chest of drawers that definitely wouldn’t fit in the small cove of your bedroom

Top Tip No.2: Go With An Open Mind

The most important thing to remember when preparing yourself for an auction is that the dead-set image you might have in your head when it comes to your new interior item is unlikely to become translated into reality, at least not completely - so remain open-minded and be ready to adapt to what’s on offer. 

Remember that the frame of the peeling chair that would suit your interior perfectly can be repainted, the broken antique clock you’ve fallen in love with can be rewired, and the rust-riddled globe that could slot neatly into your son’s bedroom can be oiled and revitalised. 

Top Tip No.3. Opt For Something Truly Unique

When it comes to buying at auction, it can be easy to choose something for its sheer beauty instead of considering the practical value it will add to your home. So, to avoid an overly busy decor it’s better to invest your money in one unique spend that will enhance your space rather than lots of smaller pieces of decoration that may hinder the look you were going for.

Our suggestion? Once you’ve picked out your antique piece, ensure that the rest of your room’s decor doesn’t clash by keeping to neutral tones and uncomplicated surrounding decor. A straightforward way to do this is by giving your wall a lick of paint where your new decoration is to feature and rearranging your furniture to put your new item in pride and place. 

turn auction items into beloved home accessories

Don’t be afraid to turn functionality on its head and give your home the unique interior twist it deserves. By opting to use an item for something other than its original purpose, it can inject new life into the piece by switching out function for interior fashion!

Top Tip No.4. Turn Your Hand To DIY

Arguably the most fun part of turning your auction item into a beautiful interior decoration is the freedom of creativity it can bring with it. However, keep a goal in mind of what you envisage your piece to become, otherwise you risk creating a piece you don’t want to show off and can’t replace. 

To emphasise your item as special and unique, don’t be afraid to paint certain parts in a vibrant pink, bold green or vivid gold. This simple technique will allow the main body of your piece to remain rustically unchanged while its spruced up components will complement the rest of your contemporary interior. 

Top Tip No.5. Turn Its Intended Purpose On Its Head

Don’t be afraid to turn functionality on its head and give your home the unique interior twist it deserves. By opting to use an item for something other than its original purpose, it can inject new life into the piece by switching out function for interior fashion.

So, with the vintage maps you found in the quaint local auction house on your holidays, we suggest plastering to the back of your bookcase and finishing the look off with some slick varnish for a unique and inspiring upmarket feel.

Whether you’re on the lookout for a collection of retro posters to reframe, revitalise and hang around your house, or you’re on the hunt for that designer piece of vintage furniture to transform your tired living room, then heading to an auction house might be just the trip you need!